Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome to the world, Abby, Allie, Corbin, and Carson!

This past week has been a huge whirlwind, and I am a little late updating (of course!), but we welcomed our sweet babies into this world last Friday, April 20th at 28 weeks and 5 days gestation.

Abby Reese, born first at 7:25am, weighing in at 2 pounds 6 ounces and 14.3 inches long

Allie Claire, born second at 7:26am, weighing in at 2 pounds 13 ounces and 15.2 inches long

Corbin Jacob, born third at 7:27am, weighing in at 2 pounds 13 ounces and 15.4 inches long (1 day old in photo)

Carson Eli, born last at 7:29am, weighing in at 2 pounds 11 ounces and 15.4 inches long

Thursday night was a normal night for me. I had been having increased contractions over the past week or so, but they were always able to stop them, and I don't believe I had many Thursday night at all. I went to sleep around 1am as usual, but I woke at 3am to a massively wet bed. I shot out of bed quicker than I had moved in months, and then sat there trying to figure out what the heck happened and why I would pee on myself that much. I went to the restroom and was trying to figure out if it was pee or amniotic fluid... and looking back on it, it is quite rediculous that I did not immediately know it was my water breaking. I was embarrassed to call the nurse because I wasn't 100 percent sure it was my water, I was in a bit of denial I think. I eventually called the nurse after about 15-20 minutes of contemplating, and quickly apologized and told her that either my water broke, or I peed on myself. I was a little frantic at that point, I remember just pacing in a daze and shaking like crazy. I didn't know how to react, was I supposed to be terrified that the babies were coming so early, or was I supposed to be excited that I may meet my babies? I didn't know how I should be feeling at all, there were so many emotions going on. They did a nitrizine test and of course determined it was my water that had broken. The craziness began, contraction monitoring, IV's started, rushed to L&D and started on magnesium sulfate to try and stop contractions and help with neuroprotection for the babies in case they couldn't;t stop contractions, and also a rescue dose of steroids for babies lung and other development. Even though my water had broken, they still wanted to stop contractions and try and keep me pregnant as long as possible. Unfortunately, my labor progressed really fast, and at 6:00am I was over 6cm dilated. The OR was called and the teams were gathered, it was a very overwhelming sight going into the OR. I had done okay up into that point, but as soon as I was wheeled into the OR I completely lost it, there were so many people in there, at least 4 people per baby and 2 people at my head, and over 6 people that would be behind the screen working on me. It finally became really real, and I was terrified out of my mind for my babies. We were SO thankful to be past 28 weeks, and that in itself was a big celebration, but 28 weeks is still so early, and there were so many unknowns (there still is).

The surgery went well. It took them a little bit to get into my uterus due to scar tissue from my previous Csection with Ella, but there were no issues. They were concerned that my uterus would not contract back down after the babies were out since my uterus was so large and "tired", and they had 4 units of blood ready for me. Luckily, my uterus behaved itself and did what it was supposed to do, and there were no complications. The babies didn't really cry when they came out, or move much for that matter (they had a big screen to where I could see one of the babies being worked on), and I majorly freaked out for a minute, but they told me it was completely normal, and I did get to hear a few tiny baby cries eventually. All the babies were put on CPAP machines (to deliver a little pressure and oxygen to their lungs) except for Abby who was put on the ventilator. They were all stable, and I even got to give the boys a little kiss before they were sent to the NICU. They were the tiniest babies, but were bigger than I thought they would be and looked better than I had expected. The NICU doctors and nurses were really impressed with their weights, and said that their larger weights would definitely help them out. I got to see them at 1am after my spinal had finally worn off. I was so exhausted and out of it by that time, and still felt like I was in the twilight zone from everything happening so fast. Larry wheeled me around from baby to baby, and I just stared at them, it was so surreal. As soon as I woke up the next morning the emotions hit, but I handled everything better than I expected myself to. They are all so perfect and beautiful, I can't believe they are here!

The babies really are doing great. Abby was extubated the next day, but the boys had to be put on the ventilator to get a dose of surfactant and to help them out a bit, but they were only on it a day. Carson ended up with a pneumothorax and had to have a chest tube for a few days, but that is out and all is well, all babies are on a CPAP now, and all are on room air except for Carson, he is lagging a tad behind in the breathing department. But the docs say it is completely normal and that it is great that he doesn't need the ventilator. They all spent a couple days under the billirubin lights for jaundice, but that is taken care of now. The girls got to start breastmilk through an OG tube Saturday, and the boys got to start on Monday. They are all tolerating it well, and their feeds have all been increased. They take so little, between 9ml and 5ml (depending on the baby) 8 times a day. It's nice right now to be able to feed them all with less than 10 ounces of milk a day, I am trying to get a huge stockpile going in the freezer. I was terrified I would have a bad milk supply this go round since I was so blessed with a great one with Ella, but it's looking like I am headed towards another good supply. I am pumping over 40 ounces a day at just 6 days postpartum, and each day I am seeing a few more ounces, woohoo!! So hopefully it stays that way and keeps increasing, at the 2 week mark we will evaluate everything with the lactation consultant, and I may start taking some medication to produce even more milk, I would love to get up to 100 ounces a day.

Ella has done so well through all of this, I am so proud of her! She is so excited for me to be home finally, yesterday she wrapped her little arms around my neck and said, "I am so glad you are home Mommy, you make me so happy". Talk about melting my heart! She LOVED seeing all of the babies, and of course Corbin is the one she always wants to see first. He is the one she talked about the most while I was pregnant. Larry will carry her from isolette to isolette and she will just get excited and say hi to them all, and then tell us something they are doing. Her first time meeting them Abby was screaming her head off (she has some lungs for a 28 weeker!), and Ella was really upset wanting to know why Abby was so sad. Every time a baby cries she will tell them that it is okay, she is so sweet. She has had one jealousy moment while I was holding Corbin, he started crying a bit and she starting crying and saying "but that's MY Mommy!".... :( But overall she is doing really great.... we will see how she does when they come home! This is our first time holding Abby!

I am recovering well, this C-section recovery is SO much easier than the one with Ella. You would think after being on bed rest for 3 months and losing all my strength, on top of having 4 babies taken out of me it would be worse, but thankfully it's not. Luckily I had the nurse take a quick pic of my belly after my water broke since I hadn't taken one in almost a month, so here is the last of my big pregnant belly. I gained 75 pounds total this pregnancy, which is just where they wanted me to gain.

This is a long post, but I wanted to have something to look back on and remember. This has just been a crazy week, but I am so thankful our babies are doing well, we are really thankful for every ones support and prayers. My faith has definitely been tested and has become so much stronger through all of this. I could not have made it through without the Lord, He is in control at all times, and it took me a bit to just give up the control to Him. It is still hard to do at times, but He has shown us so much through this all. The babies have their brain ultrasounds today to check for brain bleeds, and although they are doing so well, they are definitely not out of the woods yet, so we appreciate any continued prayers for our babies health and safety. They still have at least another 6 weeks or so in the NICU and a lot of things to overcome, so this is going to be a long ride! Once again we are so grateful for our friends and family, we would not have been able to make it through this pregnancy without all of the support and help!

Monday, April 2, 2012

26 weeks and still pregnant!

I can not even begin to say how thankful I am to still be pregnant! Every night I thank the Lord a bizillion times that my babies are still tucked away safely in my gigantic belly for another day. The statistics for babies born at 26 weeks are about a 75% chance of survival, and then about a 25% chance of a major lifelong disability for surviving babies. Those are not statistics that really make me breathe easy, but they are WAY better than the 23/24 week statistics of a 50% chance of survival and then 50% chance of major disability for surviving babies. 28 weeks brings a 90% chance of survival with a 10% chance of major disability, and THOSE are numbers I can feel pretty good about, especially given my situation! Sometimes I feel guilty for praying for more time pregnant because I have already been given so much, but to see 28 weeks would be so amazing!

I am the worlds worst person at keeping up with this blog. It's been almost a month since I have updated, and I really need to be better at it. It's not like I have a ton to do sitting in my hospital room! A lot has happened since I have last updated. Basically as of last Wednesday I only have about 2mm (0.2cm) of cervical length left, which the doctor is calling no length left. But thankfully I was not dilated at all when they did that ultrasound. That night I started having regular contractions and was given a dose of Procardia to stop them, and thankfully after a couple of hours it worked. I feel kind of like a ticking time bomb, just waiting for it to happen at any moment. I don't think anyone here really expects me to make it much longer (although one of my docs is optimistic!), but I am still determined to see 28 weeks. Unfortunately I don't think it really matters how determined I am, but it can't hurt, right?! I also found out today that I have carpal tunnel syndrome, but luckily it's only in my right wrist, and the doc said it should go away after I deliver the babies. I have also had to have (a few weeke ago) an EKG, heart ultrasound, and wear a holter monitor for a day because my pulse has been really high, and also from having palpitations. These things can definitely be normal in a multiple pregnancy because of the increased blood volume and the heart having to work so much harder, but they wanted to cover their bases and make sure there were no underlying issues, and luckily all my tests came back normal. Other than those minor things and my cervical issues, I haven't had much else going on!

I feel okay, it's getting a lot harder to get around because of the pelvic pain, but I'm not to the point to where it's unbearable yet. My skin feels like it will just rip at any moment, and I am constantly in amazement that I can keep growing and growing. I say it all the time but a woman's body is truly amazing! But I know I haven't seen anything yet if I am lucky enough to stay pregnant a few more weeks! I will post some pics when I post from my laptop next time.

Once again we are so thankful for everyone in our lives, and we really appreciate all the prayers and support! We definitely appreciate any continued prayers that I am able to stay pregnant for as long as possible! Hopefully I will get to update the blog another time or two before they make their arrival!